Sean Walsh

Associate student
Sean Walsh

Sean is an environmental scientist specialising in large and complex simulation systems, and has a keen interest in connecting realistic scenario modelling with policy development for a better future. His qualifications include Electrical and Computer Systems Engineering (B.E.) and Environmental Science (MEnvSc), and he has worked across the private sector, state government and academia.

Sean’s PhD (to commence in mid 2016) will explore ways to integrate the simulation of microclimate, vegetation growth, soil moisture, fuel moisture and fire behaviour in order to predict the effects of forest hazard reduction practices at fine spatial resolution (~ 30 m). The project aims to construct practical tools that can be used for short-term operational work and also long-term research into forest ecology and fire risk reduction.

Student project

This project will use conceptual and mathematical models to examine the response of fire-adapted ecosystems to increased pressure from altered fire regimes and climate, with particular attention to the role of seed ecology. Temporal, spatial and floristic dynamics will be examined through systematic development of tractable models, sensitivity analysis and comparison with available observations. The separate and combined effects of management intervention and climate change will be assessed through the use of plausible future scenarios. A key theme will be to investigate factors which limit the ability of canopy and soil seed banks to buffer populations against changes in composition.

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